Recipe of the Week: Linguini with Clams

March 15, 2012


One of my favorite meals to enjoy when visiting Italy’s stunning coastline is Linguini con Vongole. In contrast to North American restaurants who often prepare this dish in a heavy tomato sauce, Italian’s focus on the pasta itself. Their exquisitely light and simple version is packed with garlic, red pepper flakes, fresh clams and good quality olive oil. The result is utterly delicious!!!!

In Italy, the clams used are most often the small-shelled variety known as carpet-shells. In America, the best substitute is littleneck clams.

Try this simple recipe at home and taste for yourself - Buon Appetito!


·         1 pound linguini
·         Salt
·         1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
·         4 garlic cloves, minced
·         1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper (you can use less or more depending on your preference of spice)
·         2 dozen littleneck clams, scrubbed
·         1/4 cup water
·         1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
·         Freshly ground black pepper


1.    In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the linguini until just al dente, then drain the pasta well.

2.    Meanwhile, in a large, deep skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the minced garlic and crushed red pepper and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until the garlic is lightly browned, about 1 1/2 minutes. Add the clams and water, cover and simmer until the clams open and are just cooked through, 5 to 8 minutes. Discard any clams that don't open.

3.    Add the linguini and the chopped parsley to the clams in the skillet and season with pepper. Toss over moderately high heat just until the linguini absorbs some of the juices, about 1 minute. Transfer the linguini and clams to pasta bowls and serve right away.

Tip: If you prefer, shell the clams before tossing them with their juices in the pasta.

PAIRING SUGGESTION: A full-bodied white wine with a nice edge of acidity is ideal for this olive oil–infused clam pasta. Try an American Sauvignon Blanc, Italian Pinot Grigio or a lovely Verdicchio.

(Photo by Simon Watson.)

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